Top Ten Best Survival Experts

Survival expert show us how to survive in non civilization areas like forests and deserts.
The Top Ten
1 EJ "Skullcrusher" Snyder EJ EJ Snyder is highly decorated Army Combat Veteran with 25 years military service under his belt, serving Ranger positions in Infantry and Airborne units. He joined the armed forces at 19. He moved up the ranks quickly, seeing combat in both the Gulf War in 1991 and a 15-month tour during Operation Iraqi more.

EJ is the epitome of physical and mental toughness, which is the key ingredient of survival. You can lack size, strength and even a few skills (EJ doesn't lack anything), but if you are tough, you can overcome. EJ is as humble as he is tough, which is another key item his survival toolbox. I've seen him humble himself many times on N & A and let his team help him get through. It's not in his DNA to sit back and let others provide for him, but it's necessary sometimes and he puts his pride aside when he has to, which brings me to the next reason why he's number one.

He's a strong team player. There are leaders and there are followers on every good team. A good team player can assume either role when needed to help the team win. A good team player cares more for the success of the team than they do for themselves. EJ personifies this concept. If I were in any tough situation and could choose anyone on earth to have with me, I'd choose him without a second thought. Simply put, EJ ...more

I have followed EJ since his first episode ever. He is not only a hard working bad ass and an amazing survivalist but also an amazing human being. Very giving and thoughtful. I can tell his emotions run deep as does his loyalty. A man of his word. If I were to ever be stranded in the wild, or somehow make it to N&A as I WISH I could, things I have seen him do on his challenges would be extremely valuable for survival. Who else could get his manhood ripped open, sewed up and continue on to victory?!? EJ! I could only hope to be able to carry out survival tasks as EJ does. And to do a challenge with EJ would be a dream come true. On a scale of 1-10, he is an 11.

I have watched EJ for years. He truly is the Godfather of Naked and Afraid. EJ stands out from the rest of the contestants. EJ has done all of this Naked more than once. I also believe his authenticity. Man of steel with a kind warm heart. I don't remember the other guys getting know...down there either. Who does that? EJ that's who. He truly is a master of his craft. The dug out canoe was the best bush craft ever made. That takes critical thinking, knowledge, and outside of the box thinking. Absolutely amazing survivor with the knowledge, grit, stamina, communication skills, and all that done with a warm compassionate heart. A true leader. From the words of Jeff Zausch. "There is no one I would trust my live more then with EJ Snyder."

EJ is hands down the most knowledgeable, well-rounded and talented survivor, I dare to say on the planet. You would think someone with his skills and knowledge might be full of himself, but in person, so respectful, kind and humble. He has become the master of every not only primitive survival craft, but in real-world situations too. It's amazing that he offers classes where you can book time with him. Get him while you can! No education for yourself and your family could come from anyone better. An investment that will save your life. Definitely the all around hottie of the survival world too. 😉😍

2 Mykel Hawke Mykel Hawke Mykel Hawke is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer, author, and television and film personality.

He has real world knowledge and can give practical techniques. Where as some of the other "top rated" suggest you swim through freezing cold water under a mountain not knowing where it comes out or if there is an exit. Or that it's intelligent to walk around barefoot through snow. Just examples of the "other guys" nonsense.
Mykel gives useful, practical, and safe guidance that would actually help in a survival situation. Not to mention his survival gear is better than any out there!
And that is only listing the survival side of my vote. Mykel is someone I would want to have my back in ANY situation. He is a considerate man, a proud father, a fantastic husband, and an individual who strives to make a positive mark in this world. He deserves the top of this list for more reasons than just his survival expertise.

There is definitely no other qualified for first on this list. Captain Hawke is the perfect combination of Badass SF guy and Survivalist Expert. A person can learn more in one episode with him than in an entire season with any other. Not only can he apply his knowledge firsthand, but he can teach that knowledge to another with patience and compassion. It is the mark of an incredible teacher and leader to be able to do so. His passion for teaching is evident and makes a person want to learn more. What is refreshing is that he is not ego-driven as others in the survivalist community. Furthermore, Captain Hawke is an inventor whose mind crafts better ways to make knives and other products user friendly. My vote is for Captain Hawke!

Mykel Hawke is the most noble, honest, intelligent, hard working guy in the business! Not to mention his integrity as a Man & a Veteran of the good ole U.S.A. ! I Pride myself in knowing Men like Mykel would take the call to defend this great nation in a moments notice if the opportunity arose. If all Men put as much effort into being a great person and a role model to all as he does this world would literally be a better place! I cannot imagine the things Mykel has seen nor had to endure while he was an active Green Beret... Yet he is the Man he is today! Mykel is the definition of what a American Male should be... I try to live my life by a code of honor I'm Proud of! Does it mean I'm better anyone reading this post absolutely not! It simply means I strive to be a better Man on a daily basis as 1 should try to instill these values in his day to day life encouraging others to strive to hold there selves to a higher standard... I firmly believe if you pay it forward you will be ...more

I loved watching Man, woman, wild. I loved the interaction between Mykel and his wife, Ruth. It was very entertaining and I miss it greatly. He was teaching Ruth how to survive, and in doing so, He taught a lot of us home adventures how to survive also. Other shows, teach you things, however Mykel used the frank approach, no Hollywood lights or clamor, just the facts needed to survive, and doing it in a smart way. I have watched a lot of survival shows as well as videos on you tube, and in my opinion, the Man, Woman, Wild was the best the Network had to offer.

3 Les Stroud Les Stroud Les Stroud is a Canadian survival expert, filmmaker and musician best known as the creator, writer, producer, director, cameraman and host of the television series Survivorman.

I have watched every episode of every show Les has been involved with. Incredibly resourceful. His alone challenges have made me more aware of keeping things with me that could potentially save my life. I have whole array of survival things in a small tool box in my van now. I would be honored to do an off grid survival challenge with him.

Les stroud takes a smart and collected look at every survival situation I have ever seen him in. While most others run and jump into scenarios they may not be well suited for or do things out of shear spontaneity. To have bear grylls ranked #1 is a pure joke. His shows are phony and scripted. For example, watching him drink his own urine as a source of "hydration" was ridiculous. Stroud on the other hand teaches you how to use your urine to create clean drinking water. Just a small example, but if half of the people watched half the amount of survival shows and documentaries I have, its clear that les stroud is a knowledgeable survival expert who truly practises what he preaches through out day to day life.

I'm not familiar with a few of the men on this list, so I'll have to do some learning. That being said, I know most of their t.v. and Web content and have always been most impressed with Les Stroud. None of these guys and their accomplishments are without merit. Even Bear. Although highly scripted and dramatic, he is skilled.
But Mr. Stroud is the most admirable to me on account of his views and tactics regarding survival. His methods are typically simplistic, effective, and easy to remember and apply. And he can rip up a harmonica pretty fair!
Take your pick from this list of 10. For each one, there are a thousand others just as skilled who are unknown and prefer to remain so.
I highly doubt there is a "greatest survivalist" among them, but instead a highly skilled group of individuals who are masters in their own methods. I'd be humbled to take instruction from any of them, even Grylls.
But I'd definitely prefer to from Les Stroud!

If we're going by T.V. show experts, Les is the man. He's the only TRUE survivalist on T.V.. Seven days alone and he films himself. All of those shots where you see him walking away means that he has to go back and get that camera or have a crew come after the period is over to collect it for him. Not to mention trekking around in every type of weather imaginable while filming yourself carrying 50 lbs of camera gear + your survival gear.
In later episodes he has some back up and a radio, but it malfunctions sometimes and he is still very much alone in the elements.
Long story short: no one else does it like he does: takes calculated risks, explains what he does and why, and truly showcases the hard, gritty, and lonely parts of survival.

4 David Canterbury David Canterbury

I like a lot of these guys, but if I had to pick one it would be Dave hands down. Dave offers a no bull crap mentality to everything he does. He has shown he can survive any weather condition on earth, and learns from everything he does, he is also a great teacher, look him up on YouTube. Where are these other guys? I really like Ray Mears too, but unless you have a lot of money you'd never get one on one with him. That's what sets Dave apart from ALL these guys. Follow what Bear does and you will die, teaches very few wilderness skills. Nobody, and I mean nobody puts more thought into survival than Dave, ROCK ON MAN! Chris R. From Missouri.

I have been through three of Dave's courses, and have attended his annual Pathfinder Gathering. This man knows his stuff and is ready to teach you in simple enough terms that you'll be able to pick it up, apply it and it will sustain you. He emphasizes "dirt time" to learn, not just books, slides or dry erase boards. If he tells you about an herb or tree, you'll have to go find him one by yourself and bring it back to demonstrate that you know it. If he teaches you how to find food, you'll have to go get it by yourself and bring it back to show that you understand. A real down-to-earth expert that cares. If you're out with him, you will eat, not starve.

I've been looking for Expert opinions, facts, gear used by professionals. I would watch Videos, take classes and learn from Amateurs who make mistakes to Masters of the Bushcraft Art who have made many more mistakes. I haven't been able to find another Teacher, Guide and Friend like David Canterbury. Every lesson I've reviewed and all the videos that involve him is in regards to the "Common Man." He uses those same working skills under stressful conditions and teaches them to be used to greater effect to the average person. You don't have to master each skill, you only have to achieve the point where you know if you have to start a fire, cook food, obtain clean water, or build an efficient shelter; You do it every time. Self Reliance is an art that you give a little of your time to improve and learn. Its not just learning for yourself but everyone around you can achieve the same amount of success. He teaches about the challenges you'll face, corrects your mistakes and helps you learn ...more

Having been in real world "survival" conditions and having trained with Dave Canterbury afterward, I can undeniably attest to his knowledge and skill level. Unlike most other survival experts, Dave is training Search And Rescue Teams (the folks who do it day in and day out). He works from a realistic place and his philosophy is based on practicality. The man is without ego and has a humble demeanor. I'm looking forward to training with him again. He doesn't sell any pie-in-the-sky fantasies about turning people into Grizzly Adams types, but rather focuses on teaching a person "how to" fish instead of giving them a fish. He and his instructors teach people how to improvise and how to think for themselves instead of just taking what they are taught verbatim and stopping there. I always feel like he's sharing more than just teaching and sense in the man that he's genuinely trying to impress upon others that they can take control of their circumstances to effect self-rescue and better ...more

5 Bear Grylls Bear Grylls Edward Michael Grylls, better known as Bear Grylls, is a British adventurer, writer and television presenter. He is widely known for his television series Man vs. Wild, originally titled Born Survivor: Bear Grylls for the United Kingdom release.

Terrible survivalist. He once said that if you are getting dehydrated, you can drink you own pee, which is wrong for so many reasons. Firstly, your urine is what your body rejects and doesn't need. Secondly, it is full of bacteria and is likely to make you sick. He also suggested drinking the fluids out of a fresh pile of elephant dung. Anyone with common sense knows that is something no one should ever do. NEVER listen to him.

I don't think you guys know how much of a sham Bear Grylls is. He tried to run from a hungry lion. I mean that is just stupid. Bear also has his camera crew build the shelters and rafts and then he dissects them and "teaches" how to build them, or give a basic idea of how it's built. He also has every single survival tool he needs. Oh, and I forgot, he literally sleeps in HOTELS while filming Man Vs. Wild. And he always pretends to pant while climbing almost vertical rock faces. I mean the ability needed to do that is impressive but doing it is extremely stupid. He could slip and fall to his death. He couldn't survive a day in the wild without his hotels and camera crew.

Extremely knowledgeable, excellent survival tips (not gonna drink my own pee though). Seems like he's not afraid of anything and has a warm positive attitude so that would make any partner of his feel safe and secure. I'm loving the celebrity challenges, but would also like to see average people, like me, do 'bucket list' challenges with Bear. I'm sure like me, there are many average people who would LOVE the opportunity to do these things with him. I think it would be amazing!

Bear Grylls is the best out there. When he was just 18 years old, he attended the SAS Selection. The selection is the hardest in the world. It consists of carrying a fifty plus pound bag and hiking tens of miles at a time in the hilly Breakon Beakens with little food, water, or sleep. After that, he continued to the jungle training where you have to live, survive, and fight in the harsh jungles of Borneo. Then it's interrogation training where you have to resist torture and capture. It started with 150 men. Bear was one of 4 men to pass. After that he was trained in advanced weaponry, jungle survival, escape and evasion, and much more. He managed to recover from a bad parachute accident and be the youngest Brit to summit Mt. Everest. He's done many expeditions to raise money for charity's. His show is awesome! He is one of a kind and very enthusiastic! More than anything, he has a wonderful family. Good job Bear!

6 Mors Kochanski Mors Kochanski Mors Kochanski is a Canadian bushcraft and wilderness survival instructor, naturalist and author. He has acquired an international following and has instructed for both military and civilians in Canada, the US, the UK and Sweden.

Mors really has a better viewpoint on what "survival" really is. Everyone else seems to just be cashing in on this movement. Not Mors. You'll never see him with a retail store or a special name sake knife. I've trained with Dave, and he does know his stuff, I'm just saying that Mors was doing real world survival and instructing when these boys were popping pimples before dates. Mors will never smear dirt on his face for a photo op, then spend his entire class selling you product. He is a survivalist, not a salesman or sitcom star.

It is insane that this guy is not at or near the top of the list. He has been an inspiration and teacher to thousands and some of the people higher up than him on this list have been taught by him and been on his courses. Being the best at survival is not about looking the coolest it is about inspiring and educating. That is what Mors has been doing for decades.

I don't have to say anything about Mr. Kochanski. His legacy speaks for itself. He is the real deal and you don't see him trying to sell you a bunch of crappy gear with his name on it or acting like his way is the only way like some of these other guys do. You can tell a lot about a person by their friends and their followers and Kochanski is top class.

I have had the pleasure of being taught by Mors and chatting with him and I found him to be a wealth of knowledge. And never to proud to to listen to what you have to say and give you compliments if he thinks you are doing something that he hasn't or thought of before seen before

7 Ray Mears Ray Mears Raymond Paul Mears is a British woodsman, instructor, businessman, author and TV presenter. His TV appearances cover bushcraft and survival techniques.

I really like all of the other survival experts but Ray Mears, I can't say enough about this guy, he actually shows you how to do everything rather than people like Bear Grylls who is more like a show man who plays up for the camera bait and does stuff that you wouldn't necessarily do in a survival situation, I do think Bear and everybody else are good but for me, it's got to be Ray Mears!

With Ray Mears you get not only lessons in bushcraft and survival, but a detailed history of their origins presented in the most humble and elegant of ways. Mears is not only a instructor, he is also an thoroughly educated researcher who have studied the cultures of people all over the world for over two decades. He has shown us that one man's "survival" can be, simply, another man's daily way of life.

Ray Mears has spent his life studying and practising survival skill in all areas of the world. He imparts his knowledge in a clear and unpretentious way. This makes his T.V. shows really interesting and educational. Unlike Bear Grylls Ray can easily find edible food and would never follow you around trying to eat your poo.

Ray has a proven track record in this area over decades. All of his advice is sound, well thought out and many techniques stem from thousands of years of human evolution. If you don't want to just survive but live well, across a wide spectrum of environments, follow Mears.

8 Cody Lundin Cody Lundin

Cody is obviously the best survivalist when it comes to being able to turn nothing into something. Cody is very knowledgeable when it comes to relying on nature. Also, he has a lot of knowledge about different plants and insects, which is very helpful when you can't find a meat source. Also, Cody has proven to be a well disciplined fire starter because he has shown that he can virtually make a fire out of anything. Also 99.9% of the time, Cody achieves starting a fire. Cody is a great survivalist because he is very cautious. He is cautious because he knows that if one wants to be found alive they have to be careful in the environment that they are in because they may not be familiar with the area. Cody has had 24+ years of survival experience, which shows that he is very knowledgeable and has taken time to perfect his survivalist skills and become the great survivalist that he is today.

Cody Lundin walks the walk. He teaches others to help themselves in situations where tshtf. Search and rescue is a great resource IF you do your part and tell someone where you are going, the route that you will take and what day and about what time to expect you back. Most people don't do this. I have to say I never thought about doing this until he mentioned it in his book. You can't count on help to arrive. Cody teaches people to be their own search and rescue.

To me, the best survival expert is the one whom most effectively passes on life saving knowledge. Cody's work relative to thermal-regulation, fire starting, and shelter building must be among the best in the world. I think he also maintains an edge in physiology, his understanding of how the body works relative to stresses is top shelf in survival instruction circles.

Cody Lundin stresses the mental aspect of keeping calm when things go wrong, assessing your situation and then basing your decisions from what you can do to help yourself until you can be rescued or get yourself to safety. I think that mental clarity is extremely important when things go wrong, if you can't keep yourself calm, you will not make it home.

9 Tom Brown Tom Brown

I took Tom's basic week long survival course and learned a lot. I learned about their advance winter course which the students are put down in Minnesota winter with just a t-shirt, jeans, sneakers and a knife for 30 days and every time the students gain weight when done. What I like was the many of ways of tracking and trapping Tom teaches students to get major game quickly which then provides plenty of food, clothing and tools.

I've trained extensivly with Tom at the Tracker School and I think he really is a cut above the rest, survival is not just about the physical skills, it's also about spiritual / awareness skills, it's those skills that make survival easy. + Tom has a proven record from tracking down both criminals and lost people.

I have taken numerous courses over the years. His dirt time makes him exceptionally experienced. If you want survival skills with a Native background and respect for Mother Earth - this is the school. Best teacher I have come across, and I have been to many.

I've trained at a number of survival schools including ones here in the UK and I have to say Tom Brown's Tracker School is the best in every sense of the word (except location - over in the U.S. of A) but one thing I like about Tom is the fact he has a huge amount of dirt time under his belt, living the skills.

10 Ron Hood

He and his videos have provided more helpful instruction to more people than all of the others put together - with the exception of some others that you didn't list... Mors Kochanski, Larry Dean Olsen, Tom Roycraft, - heck, these three taught most of these others as well as provided them with free guidance and instruction... Your list leaves a lot to be desired. T.V. or YouTube personality doesn't equal knowledge, skill, instructional accuracy, and actual caring for "how people are taught" not just "what they are taught".

Ron Hood has actually been the survival expert that some of these T.V. survival experts turned to for advice. His survival videos have been copied & posted by some of these other experts as their own. Often incorrectly.

It's sad that this list is nothing more than who is more popular on T.V. than who is actually a survival expert...

Ron Hood was my friend and mentor. I never have known a more patient and personable man. I was fortunate to have spent some time with him. He belongs at number one in my opinion.

Ron's excellent video training got me started on this road. The breadth of his knowledge and experience were evident in all that he taught. Practical, no-nonsense and funny.

The Contenders
11 Lofty Wiseman Lofty Wiseman

Look at what he has done. Listen to what he has to say and you will realise he is the real deal. He tell how he learnt to survive on some interviews. He didn't learn from books or videos or even courses. He learned from the guides and people he worked with during his time in the sas.

He is also good to listen to, very down to earth and he teaches you to primarily survive. If you find yourself in a bad situation he teaches you to survive get help get to a safe place and to do it quickly and safely.

Some guys want the glory others make it look like a leisure activity some make it look like continual risk taking. Lofty makes it real minimises risk and teaches what work. I would say "Vote Lofty" every time.

How the hell is Lofty not in the top three if not number 1? This is the guy that wrote the SAS survival handbook after having served with them for 26 years and been in just about every survival situation and climate on the planet! This is the survival instructor that the likes of Bear and The Hawkes wish they were! Come on guys, do your homework instead of just voting for who's currently on T.V. A lot or has the most YouTube videos! Lofty Wiseman is the real deal and deserves to be at the top of the list.

I have his SAS Survival Guide: Pocket Edition. It's the original without all the edits and additions, and still it has reliable information on how to survive in pretty much any condition from Arctic to Desert with skills like rope-making, fire, hunting, scavenging with diagrams of plants from every part of the world, and just about anything you would need to know, and that's just an unrevised little pocket edition book.

Lofty was a hard man and unstoppable in his SAS days. He gained his knowledge from actually living it. Real situations behind enemy lines bringing the hot steel to the evil people of the world. For that alone he gets extra credit. He wrote the book on survival and others have been copying his teachings for the last 40 years. Also got a hug from the guy a couple of months ago. Was like hugging me old granddad :-) the guy is a legend!

12 Kellie Nightlinger Kellie Nightlinger

Kellie has lived off the grid since 2012. No running water. No electricity. No indoor plumbing. She camps somewhere different in Alaska every night spring summer and fall. In late fall early winter, she lives off the grid at her remote mountain log cabin she is building on the Contintental divide. She is one of a kind. She hunts, fishes, gathers, traps, snares her wild food. She eats wild every day. She lives alone and works alone to accomplish her daily off grid chores. She never complains and thrives in harsh, wild environments. Check her out at the first woman on Naked and Afraid-Terror in Tanzania Discovery Network, TLC's Strange Love-Popeye and the Wild Woman where she takes a city guy to her mountain cabin for two days in the winter, and as a survival T.V. show host on two episodes of World Wonder X only available on Tokyo Broadcasting Network where she taught a famous Japanese comedian how to survive for 72 hours on a remote South Pacific isolated island. She lives it breaths ...more

I've seen several of these top Survivalists demonstrate their skills on various T.V. series, and of course, Kellie is known for being the first woman to appear and complete her challenge on Naked and Afraid. I have followed Kellie for several months on Facebook, and it is difficult for me to believe there is ANYONE on this Top 100 list that could surpass her in her love of sharing knowledge of symbiotic relationships in nature, and of course, her love of the outdoors and beauty of nature in all its forms. She revels in it daily, and should earn her a special spot on this list. "Get Outdoors and Go Wild! "

If I got lost or stranded in the wild, I want Kellie to be my sidekick. No question she is a survivalist, but she is also a compassionate team player who puts others first. I know, having worked with her on and off for three years, I have seen her in action and know she would never leave me behind unless she knew it was the only option for US to survive. I can go on and on, but no need to as others have said it all.

I have spent a jam packed couple of months now with Kellie, ranging from Juneau, AK, where we first met,to the log cabin in the mountains of Montana she built then road tripping from there to Michigan (with no vehicle heat and freezing temperatures)!
Her knowledge.and skill sets are seemingly endless from doing the most basic to impossible tasks, I continue to learn and be amazed! She is infinitely prepared at any moment for any eventuality, this is truly evidenced when you see her truck absolutely packed from A to Z survival..!
I look forward to many more years and adventures with her as my guide and mentor to become a more self reliant and confident human being!
Thank you Kellie for all you do and are!

13 Matt Graham Matt Graham

One of the coolest, most level headed survivalists I've ever seen. He's got real skills to make it long term, or to get out! I'd trust my life to his skills! In my opinion, Matt should be way higher on this list!

Come on it's Matt Graham. He's the master of bushcraft and survival. This guy is so amazing. He has great knowledge, very resourceful, he can make fire anywhere. I love his attitude and respect for the land.

Matt Graham is as impressive of a survivalist as anyone I have watched and read upon. He has the right personality and attitude of the type person you would want to survive around and to learn from for as far as I'm concerned hands down he is the very best of all. Impressed with his decisions on all different terrains to survive. He can make a shelter out of feathers and cordage no joke the man is something else. And the way he respects the land the environment and all living things he and I would have lots in common. Have to respect the man and his knowledge he has within him for survival. I would really enjoy doing survival with him for he doesn't seem to ever be over taken by situations that may develop and calmly and rationally moves through each obstacle to be rescued or found. He takes the time along the way to thank nature and life he must take to survive and that's the way it should be. Never forgets we must co-exist with nature and all living in it. Wish Matt would do a show ...more

I think Matt Graham is wonderful. I appreciate his easy living attitude. Using him as inspiration, I have moved even farther in decluttering my home and owning fewer possessions. I am so much freer. I don't think I could ever go as primitive as Matt does, but I am buying next to nothing and donating what I don't use and the feeling is great. Oh, yea, and hiking more. If he can survive his way, I can certainly live more intentionally and flourish.

14 Laura Zerra Laura Zerra

Laura is THE champion. Because she has a whole lot of habilities as a survivalist, she is extremely creative, is physically very strong, even being a small woman, and has very good mental strenght. Above all, she is always NICE and never loose her temper (and her politness) in any situation.
She is really fantastic!

Laura has shown great skills, fantastic attitude and great mental toughness. He physical toughness is also quite amazing. Watching her in "Naked and Afraid," she was an amazing partner. And by the end, it was she who kept rowing when poor EJ was so tired that he was falling asleep while sitting. She kept going despite her own exhaustion and fatigue. A REAL WOMAN! Yes for Laura - she deserves a higher spot in this hierarchy!

First off Legend Laura was one of the OG naked and afraid. Second appearance was called in because Panama was too hard for others. Laura was the first female to complete a 60 day challenge and a 15 day challenge in the snow.

Laura should be higher on this list. She is the shining example of what a woman can do in the wild. Most times she out-performs the males she was given to work with.

15 Horace Kephart Horace Kephart

Kephart and Nessmuk are the two all the contemporary experts have learned and could learn even more from. I admire Cody, Matt and Dave, I even more admire Les and Mors, but Kephart was the real deal.

Horace deserves to be in the top 5.

Horace is great at his craft.

An old school legend.

16 Jeff Zausch

Jeff is extremely adaptable and manages to come through where so many others fail. He has a really positive attitude which certainly helps him succeed.

Jeff is the most decorated Naked and Afraid survivor and co-host of Dual Survival's final season with EJ Snyder. Jeff is a master fisherman and survivalist. He is tough mentally, which is inspiring.

THIS IS WHAT WE LIVE FOR! So much energy coming off Jeff. He would definitely bring a ton of it to any survival situation and keep anyone motivated to push forward. Let's do it Jeff!

I have never, ever seen anyone who could hunt and fish -- with no equipment -- as well as Jeff Zausch. On Naked and Afraid, Naked and Afraid XL and Dual Survival, he's proven that he can push himself to the limit and come out smiling. He's a joy to watch!

17 Joseph Teti Joseph Teti

What idiot put teti on the best list - this guy isn't a survival expert. Silly chicken did it, right? Only that Ralph the Chicken would do something like this. Well we have to get teti off this list, before it becomes embarrassing. That chicken might print out the comments and send them in to that watch company president. I don't think that company would appreciate that at all. Silly Preacher Chicken. Someone should put Ralph on this list, that would show him to stop messing around. Someone put Ralph on the list.

Hi people- This is JT. First thanks to all of you for the votes. SALUTE to you all. I just want to be honest at this point - as you know I am not really a survivalist, and I have no real skills. So I wanted to tell you all the reason I can survive is the watch I wear. This watch is amazing, it builds fire, makes shelter-- last night it cooked me dinner. This watch is actually my body double on T.V.. I was not the one who shot the deer, or stabbed the pig. That was my watch. This season my watch and I plan on teaching Matt many things - so please tune in, my watch appreciates it.

Ralph here- there are those who would ask why did I put doofus on this list. See to me the list is not really important. What is important is to have a place to see which topics doofus and the broom squad like to avoid. Cause lets face it, there are better forums. So my thanks to all, those who made comments, even those who just hit the little thumbs down button. Cassio and Geico are up first. Write in campaign to admin asst to president. No Facebook, no advertisement. We will keep ourselves busy until season 5 of dual ridiculous begins. Luckily I have the whole 6th floor of the hospital at my disposal to write letters. Haha- yes, the whole floor is with me. Did you see that coming? Sure you did, you have a PR rep and a team of lawyers and security too! So while we wait for season premier, lets get that tent up and some letters sent in and behold - the show begins. ( no re-admittance if you leave before the show begins)

My Hero -joseph teti- right after 9/11 we the public had a lot of sleepless nights with worry. Our way of life was threatened. But Joe teti put many of us at ease, making sure Las Vegas was clean. It was a comfort knowing such men existed to slay the dragon known as dirt. Turns out while Mr Teti preaches to train for a fight, he is not an advocate of entering a fight. Just a lot of shooting inanimate objects. Ask him where he was after 9/11- ask him - I'll give the man this - he sure can run.

18 George W. Sears George W. Sears

It was Dave Canterbury who made me aware of Nessmuk (George Washington Sears). Canterbury advocated seeking out and studying the writings and teachings of the earlier writers (1800's and early 1900's). When you start to really become a student of this game, you become aware of just how significant Nessmuk's contributions have become and how his works have influenced the thought of current survival experts. The only reason why he isn't (properly) ranked #1 on this list is because he never had a T.V. show.

Dave canterbury can read?

George W. Sears can read?

19 John McCann

John is unassuming and has a quiet confidence. The classes he teaches are always well attended. John is most known for his books and articles so he doesn't often get votes because of his limited T.V. exposure. However, those who have had an opportunity to meet him know he is both knowledgeable and helpful.

Laugh out loud, who ever wrote the previous post obviously knows me. I am John McCann and I'm no "Expert", I'm a student of survival. There are those that want to be considered an "Expert" but I'm not one of them.

John knows his stuff, excellent author and teacher. Personally I think he'd laugh to see himself listed as an expert because he always refers to himself as a student.

John knows his stuff and he teaches what he know and when he learns he passes on the knowledge. Like his concepts keep learning and pass it on.

20 Mike Pewtherer Mike Pewtherer

He does what he teaches - totally humble and willing to learn from anyone and share what he knows. I have one of his books and is really very good.

The guy knows his stuff - the details in his book are where it becomes very clear!

His book is looaded with little tips I haven't seen in other places.

21 Thomas Coyne Thomas Coyne

Thomas is the real deal because he not only knows how to survive in a diverse range of wilderness environments, but he's able to effectively instruct others in the survival skills he's developed and used for decades. And his methods work and make sense. His goal is to teach the practical and useful real-world survival skills that can save your life, not offer a watered down experience that a lot of other survival schools market to city folk. I trust him and I'd highly recommend his courses to anyone interested in actually living through a critical situation in the wilderness.

Thomas isn't a T.V. personality, but he does get out and live the life. I would put him against any of the rockstar survival experts and my money would be on him to come out on top in most every situation.

You've got my vote thomas!

I have trained with him and he is the real deal. No T.V. personality could go out and do what he does without help. HE is the help. HE is the one they look to to help with the real survival off camera.
I would not want to learn from anyone else.

Knows what to do and how to do it. He has also pared down his knowledge and experience into effective techniques that he teaches. Check out his survival school. You won't be disappointed.

22 Darrin Reay

His life style is almost completely off grid. His skills and ability to do more than merely survive in any environment with minimal tools is amazing.

23 Micheal James Patrick

I took Mike's basic class called Earth Living 5 day. Mike has a unique, simple, yet very effective way of teaching. He forces you to learn with all 5 of your senses, and pushes you to your edge to see where you need to improve. Since then I have taken all of Mike's classes and have gotten to know just how much knowledge and experience this guy has. If anyone is under rated it is this guy.

I've watched him use rocks to shape a bow drill with hemlock root cordage as he casually explained the tracks, edible pants, and even the bird behavior. He got a fire without a knife from "nothing" for our school group in a little over forty minutes. Since then I learned from him and his instructors at the Maine Primitive Skills School and have been passionate about the skills ever since. Check out what he produces on the web at to get a sense of how in-depth the knowledge base is!

The knowledgeable, fun, challenging, humble community environment that Michael creates at the Maine primitive skills school is unparalleled by any other school, survival skills or not. The magic felt in the presence of Michael and at Mpss comes up from the health of the earth. He has cultivated something amazing up in Augusta Maine and I am lucky to know it.

I knew him when he was in scouts as a kid and he has ALWAYS been obsessed with survival skills and living in the woods. It's great to see him living his dream. I haven't seen any of the television shows come close to what Mikey knows. His teachers are good folks, but they'll even say that he IS the Maine Primitive Skills School.

24 Dave "Mitch" Mitchell

I loved the video when he camped out in the winter in a wool blanket lean-to. It was snowing hard, and turned into a full blown blizzard. The snow weight sagged his lame shelter to about a foot off the ground. What did our young Canterbury castoff survival expert do? He went back in the house! He was camped in his backyard! Lol. Total poser. Like his former mentor, he videos survival topics AS HE LEARNS THEM, and passes it off as things he's known since way back. His fanboys scamper to protect him, too. Pathetic phony.

This gentleman puts out top notch YouTube videos. His expertise is plainly evident, and his instructional technique is without reproach.

Mitch is truly a bushcraft Titan...he keeps the traditional knowledge of USA/Canada Natives mixed with Classical Bushcrafting and topped off with Modern survival techniques...He is fantastic for N.American Bushcrafting.

Great YouTube channel, very knowledgable and underrated. Teaching skills surpass most others out there. This guy needs his own show. Support Mitch

25 Creek Stewart

I have trained under Creek, and have been a trainer along side of him for a event called "Escape The Woods Survival Challenge". He is true to his word and a very humble person. He has vast knowledge of all things survival and woodcraft! I consider his methods for teaching superior to many! He is a hands on individual in the sense, he will work with anyone if they ask, and help them accomplish their task! All of the students he teaches are individuals and he treats them as such.

Creek is down to earth, wholesome persona... no flash in the pan or Hollywood flash.
I would feel comfortable learning survival skill sets from Creek without feeling over the top with my limitations. He instills confidence and shows compassion for people lacking knowledge of survival with his training. I would feel like pushing myself without the threat of too much risk too fast/too soon creating fear of doing.

Creek Stewart clearly has an absolute wealth of survival information. He's had a great T.V. show, he's written numerous books and has a successful survival school. He also doesn't have the ego and insecurities many of the other survival celebrities have. He's a true expert and not a wannabe. Plus, I've bought numerous items from his online businesses and have loved them all.

I've known Creek for a couple of years now and am convinced that he thoroughly knows his stuff! He is so down to earth, both in his demeanor and in his survival philosophy, that he can reach and train any one person in this world with practical, real life application of survival skills. He is very approachable and I have worked with him in the past with a public health television project and is by far one of the most energetic and knowledgeable topic experts that I have had the privilege to film.

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